Working from home
SIPTU representatives have called on all employers, in both the private and public sector, to listen to the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) for Covid-19, and ensure that wherever possible they should facilitate employees to work from home.
SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “The majority of employers are proactive in assisting employees to work from home. However, many SIPTU members, in both the public and private sectors, have been in contact with the union in recent days expressing concern that they are being asked to report for work in their workplaces in circumstances where working from home could be facilitated.
“Employers need to put public health above all other concerns. This means facilitating working from home wherever possible and keeping vital services intact by ensuring that safety plans are reviewed in light of the increased transmissibility of the new strains of the virus.”
He added: “There must also be a coherent approach in determining the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme to frontline and essential workers. Obviously, health workers must be the first in line. However, many other workers also have legitimate reasons why they should be classified as ‘essential workers’ and given priority access to the vaccine. These include workers in sectors such as education, pharmaceutical production, meat and food processing, local authorities, retail and transport.
“The Government must engage with trade unions to ensure that a coherent plan in relation to working from home and the roll out of the vaccine programme is devised which all stakeholders can buy into.”
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